She’s appeared in Grey’s Anatomy since its very first episode, but after ten series playing Dr Cristina Yang, Sandra Oh has announced her decision to quit the medical drama.
The long-running series from Shonda Rhimes has aired since 2005, with Oh’s character, Cristina, undergoing a string of ordeals that have included being impaled by an icicle, operating on her wounded colleague at gunpoint and surviving a plane crash. It’s fair to say the Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital is a hotbed of disaster…
“Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s such an interesting thing to play a character for so long and to actually get the sense that she wants to be let go as well. [Christina] wants to be let go, and I am ready to let her go. We have to start the process, story-wise, for the Grey’s writers to think of why she’s going to go.”
The 42-year-old actress went on to reveal she’s been thinking about ending her time on Grey’s since May 2012 when she and her fellow original cast members signed two-year deals that would take them up to series ten.
“I’ve gone through a lot of therapy over this,” she added. “I started thinking about it because I had to prepare myself. I gave myself two years to emotionally let go. At the end of last season, Shonda took me aside and said, ‘What are your thoughts?’ I said, ‘I’m ready.'”
Speaking of Oh’s exit, Rhimes teased, “This year is going to be bittersweet for us – we’re both going to savour every moment of Cristina Yang, and then we’re going to give her the exit she deserves. And when Sandra walks out of my door, Grey’s Anatomy will once again be forever changed.”
It’s going to be a nervy wait for loyal fans of Grey’s Anatomy as Oh’s fellow founding cast members are yet to make their call on whether to stay beyond the tenth series. Patrick Dempsey (Derek), Ellen Pompeo (Meredith), Justin Chambers (Alex), James Pickens Jr (Webber) and Chandra Wilson (Bailey) have kept quiet about plans for their characters’ future, although network ABC did made its own views clear in the following statement: “It’s our intention to have Grey’s on the air for many years to come, with as many of the original cast as possible.” Fingers crossed, Grey’s fans.